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Many conceive nature as a harmonious and organic whole in which equals coexist and each fragment has a certain shape and meaning. For others, however, nature and culture are formless and chaotic masses in which an individual struggles for its own survival — a survival which depends more on chance and strength than on a balanced, predictable system.
Camilo Guinot searches, observes and builds, trying to find a harmony of shapes that demonstrates the sense of the world in visual terms. “Camilo rummages in larders and book shelves, empties them and relocates the content. His principle is the similarity of shape. All round things attract each other. Object seeks object. A battalion of plates descends the staircase. A contingent of books is lying on the floor,” observes Veronica Gómez in the press release of Móvil Recurrente (Recurrent Mobile). But formal coincidence can result in something deceitful and ephemeral.
On the background wall, four framed photographs depict objects for which the similarity of shapes and colors appears exact and absurd. For instance, the corner of a red handkerchief forms a triangle among uncountable little red triangles embedded in the grey concrete floor. Or a spherical nest built on a high tension cable coincides exactly with the center of a circular beam of sunlight.
In the center of the room, a giant and hallucinogenic flower opens and invites attention into its deep interior. Guinot has built it with hundreds of matches and endless patience, but suggests the potential of fire and destruction by keeping the reddish, unlit tops. He insists that he wants “to arouse the pyromaniac inside all of us.”
Another object fans out on one of the walls: It’s a Moleskine notebook in which each page gathers twelve balls of fluff removed daily from Guinot’s own belly button, collected during a one-year period. This formless, undefined substance produced by the body in contact with the fabric that covers it and warms it up, transforms the pages into a wordless journal or diary.
Paper can function as the support of photos and drawings, displaying on its surface complex shapes and patterns that structure a particular way of seeing and understanding the world. At the same time, paper can fold itself, even mold other objects, become a toy plane flying in a certain direction. Its target is as absurd as the intention of directing and fixing the flight of dozens of paper sheets that want to enter an oven, now disconnected and turned off in the center of a huge hangar, but keeping the traces of its ancient fire.
The flexibility of paper contains the possibility of tracing surfaces, as when Guinot “scanned” a whole environment — using paper, the four walls, the floor and the ceiling of Oficina Proyectista, a small gallery space, and exhibited the folded sheets on a table at theFondo Nacional de las Artes this year. With this gesture, he “moved” one space into the other, losing volume in the transfer, flattening sense and meaning as well. The precise measures of the spaces nevertheless remained in the shape of white and empty folds, turned into surface without volume — the whitest side of the “ white cube” that the neutral space of a gallery is supposed to represent.
In the works of Móvil Recurrente, Guinot manages to detach form from meaning. The first emerges as perfect and clear, while the second flows as running water, inflaming fantasies of absurd harmony and domestic fireworks.